Thursday, April 29, 2010

Labor movement driven by young power - Rally takes place for victory of the Hikari Seiko struggle

On April 11, a rally and demonstration took place for the victory of the Hikari Seiko struggle in the city of Kuwana, Mie Prefecture. Hikari Seiko Co., Ltd., a components manufacturer affiliated with Toyota, has been practicing disguised contracting and external assignment. It is now under fire in a dispute over the unfair discharges of 36 workers from abroad in April last year. Forming a big and warm envelope for the Brazilian families including infants and young children, the pep rally was very hot and heartwarming at the same time. Aging of citizens' movements is a familiar phrase, anti-nuclear and pro-peace movement alike. By contrast, the labor movement is driven by the youth! It is only natural for workers' movement to be focused on economic struggles for bread for today. The day has also brought me a thought that we would have tremendous power if this young labour movement and peace movement supported mainly by post-retirement generations could come closer toward each other. (Izumi Miyanishi) See the webpage of Union Mie.

 4月11日、光精工闘争勝利をめざす総決起集会とデモが、三重県桑名市で行われました。光精工は、トヨタ系部品メーカーで、長年にわたる偽装請負や違法派遣・偽装出向の末に昨年4月に外国人労働者36名が不当解雇され闘争中です。決起集会は、乳飲み子や幼児同伴のブラジル人家族を囲む輪は大きく暖かくものすごい熱気に、ほんわかと心があたたかくなる集会でした。市民運動は非核も平和も高齢化といわれます。比べて労働運動は若い! 労働者の運動が、今日の糧のために経済闘争を優先させなければならないのは当然です。そこを通り越してリタイアし、老境に入った世代の平和運動とが、もっともっとお近づきになれたら1000人力だとも思った一日でした。(宮西いずみ)・ユニオンみえHP 

English conversation school GABA urged to follow the Labor Relations Commission order! Instructors start publicity action

GABA, an English conversation school, has been contracting with 800 foreign instructors mostly in a form of consignment with an individual business operator instead of employment by GABA, which is not reflecting the actual operation, making the only such case among major companies of the same trade. Thus, complaints were flooding into the Multilanguage Center of the General Union, saying, "There is no paid annual leave or health insurance coverage." The Union filed a case of violation of Article 7 of the Labor Standards Law with the Osaka Prefectural Labor Relations Commission. In December 2009, the Commission issued an order recognizing that "the instructors are workers and employees." This established the employment relations and the applicability of the respective laws concerned including the Labor Standards Law and a law for coverage of public health insurance. Nevertheless, the company has not complied with the order yet. "We won't even have any safety net benefits like out-of-work insurance, pension and forward payment of unpaid wages." So these instructors have started publicity activities communicating with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Labour Bureau, employment agencies, tax offices and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission. (Yamahara at General Union) - Webpage of the General Union

 英会話GABA=ガバは、大手で唯一800名の外国人講師の大半を「雇用とせず、委託=一人親方」とし、実態と違う契約をしてきた。そのため「年休や健保がない」等の苦情がゼネラルユニオンの多言語相談センターに殺到していた。ユニオンは大阪府労働委員会に、労組法7条違反で申立てたが、2009年12月に「講師は労働者=従業員」と認定した命令が出た。これで雇用関係と労基法・公的保険など各法令適用が確定したが、未だ会社は命令に従っていない。「このままでは、失業保険・年金・未払賃金立替払など一切のセイフティネットさえない」と、講師達は、厚労省・労働局・職安・税務署・証券取引等監視委などへの通報活動を開始した。(ゼネラルユニオン・山原) ・ゼネラルユニオンHP

The case of JR employment rejection/discharges of 1047 unionists turns to settlement - Payment of total 20 billion yen and promise of "employment effo

On April 9, the government finalized its settlement proposal for the case where JR refused to employ unfairly discharged 1047 union members, which the four organizations involved in the lawsuits accepted on the whole. The contents of the solution include 20 billion yen for the settlement money (22 million yen per person) and a promise for the government to make effort to have employed by JR. In a press conference, President Takahashi of the National Railway Workers' Union or Kokuro (center) said, "This is a great step forward out of the heavy door. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude toward all those who have worked hard for the solution. For the employment issue, the settlement plan is not perfect. From a humanitarian viewpoint, I'd like to see JR fulfill the request for employment." Chairperson Sakai of the plaintiff's team said to the reporter (me), "Anyway this is it. I am relieved at a settlement like this." Settlement money is agreed upon, indeed. But it is still uncertain how the issue of employment is going to be solved. (Akira Matsubara) Three-minute and full-length 24-minute videos at UnionTube, and statements of the four parties/organizations on the webpage of the Joint Struggle Congress

 4月9日、JR不採用事件・1047名解雇問題の政府案が最終的にまとまり、4者4団体もこれを全面的に受諾した。解決内容は、和解金が200億円(1人あたり2200万円)で、雇用については「政府がJRへの雇用について努力する」としたもの。記者会見で国労高橋委員長(中央)は、「大きな扉を開いた。解決に尽力された方々に心から感謝したい。雇用確保については必ずしも万全ではないが、ぜひ人道的立場からJRは雇用を受け入れてほしい」と述べた。酒井原告団団長は、「とにかく一段落。ここまできて一安心している」と記者(私)に語った。和解金の決着はみたものの、雇用問題がすっきりしない解決内容となった。(松原 明) ・記者会見動画3分(UnionTube) ・ノーカット版24分(UnionTube) ・4者4団体の見解(共闘会議HP

No more bullshit on Okinawans! Protest action starts in furor in front of the Prime Minister's official residence

At 10:30 a.m., April 6, protest action by angry Okinawans started in front of the Prime Minister's official residence. Mr. Minoru Kinjo, a sculptor (photo), grabbed a microphone. "Mr. Eisaku Sato received a Nobel Peace Prize and 120 million yen for deceiving Okinawans through the secret pact incident. He also said in one occasion, 'While the Okinawa matter is solved, we are still in the post-war time.' No kidding. Shameless is he. He fooled Okinawans with bullshits. The new administration is acting selfishly as well, flattering Okinawans with references to 'kind Okinawans,' 'the blue ocean," and local cuisine like Goya-champuru and sightseeing spots and, behind the scene, still pursuing the scheme to transfer the base within Okinawa. Absolutely never we will allow it." Around the sit-in that day, the gross number of supporters reached 400, joining the appeal with chants and songs. This action will continue up to April 9. The protesters are calling for gross participation of 3000. (M) videos at UnionTube and OurPlanet-TV


Increasing deaths of leukemia among employees of Samsung, Korea - Cooperation needed for international signature campaign

On March 31 morning, 2010, PARK Jong (age 23), an employee of Samsung Electronics, South Korea, died of leukemia after a painful fight against disease. She had been working at the semiconductor production line for three years. Her sickness and death were obviously caused by the poor working environment at Samsung's semiconductor plant exposed to toxic chemicals. Already, the number of victims suffering leukemia or lymph or other cancer reached 22 at Samsung plants, seven out of which have died. Their Thai plants also see victims. Nevertheless, Samsung, the world biggest electronic components manufacturer has not admitted its responsibility whatsoever. The victims and supporters have formed SHARPs (so tentatively named for supporters of the health and rights of people working in the semiconductor manufacturing industry), calling for cooperation for an international signature campaign to demand Samsung to clarify the corporate responsibility, to make compensation and to improve the working environment. See their webpage for details.

 韓国サムスン・エレクトロニクスで3年間、半導体生産ラインで働いていたパク・チヨンさん(23歳)が、白血病による闘病生活のあと、2010年3月31日の朝亡くなった。彼女の病気と死は、明らかにサムスン半導体工場の有毒化学物質を扱う劣悪な労働環境が原因だった。すでに、サムスンの工場労働者の白血病・リンパ腫などのガン患者は22名に達し、7名が死亡。またタイ工場などでも被害者が出ている。しかし、世界最大の電子機器会社サムスンは責任を一切認めていない。被害者と支援者たちは、SHARPs(仮称「半導体製造産業で働く人々の健康と権利の支援者」)を結成し、サムソンに「会社の責任明確化と補償、労働環境の改善」を要求する国際署名運動を呼びかけている。 詳細HP 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sapporo General Union: Victory in the case over refusal to reemploy at New Holland HFT Japan

In a lawsuit that Mr. Kosugi (photo), a former employee of New Holland HFT Japan, protested against the refusal of his reemployment at his age of retirement of 60, Judge Suguri Takayuki of the Sapporo District Court decided that the refusal was invalid due to violation of Article 9 of the Law for the Stabilization of Employment of the Aged, and ordered the corporation to pay 5.5 million yen to him as compensation. However, Judge Suguri dismissed Mr. Kosugi’s claim for the confirmation of his position for that a contract for his reemployment with New Holland had not been concluded. This case was typically corporate management’s abuse of the law having some “loopholes”. This decision seems to be the first to have made a breakthrough against such abuse. (Reported by Suzuki Hajime, Sapporo General Union) - Webpage of the union 

 (株)日本ニューホランドの小杉さん(写真)が、60歳の定年を迎えた際に、会社から再雇用を拒否されたのは不当だと訴えていた裁判で、3月30日札幌地裁(村主隆行裁判官)は、会社が小杉さんを再雇用から排除したのは高年齢者雇用安定法(高年法)9条の趣旨に反し無効であるとして、会社側に550万円の支払いを命じた。但し、小杉さんと会社間に再雇用の契約が成立したとまでは認められないとして、地位確認の請求は棄却した。この事件は、「抜け穴」のある高年法を、会社側が悪用した典型的ケースだった。この判決は、高年法9条を悪用したケースに突破口を開けたという点では、恐らく全国初の判決だと思われる。(札幌地域労組・鈴木一) ・札幌地域労組HP

“We feel like being denied” – Rage against exclusion of Korean schools

An urgent rally against the exclusion of Korean school from objects of “free tuition for high school education” was held at the event square of Yoyogi Park in central Tokyo in the afternoon on March 27, 2010. 700 persons including 230 Korean high school students joined the rally. It was hosted by an executive committee that consisted of as many as 65 organizations, such as grassroots groups involved in peace and education issues and trade unions. The organizer strongly criticized the Hatoyama administration, saying, “This is another form of ethnic discrimination. Is it right to repeat the same mistake Japan made before and during World War II when the country even deprived Koreans of their names? A nation that discriminates children will crumble”. A girl of a Korean high school said, “I was moved by many signatures of Japanese people to support us, which came to our school one after another. The bill for free tuition for high school education is great, but why have Korean schools been excluded from its targets? When I knew this, I felt like being denied and was sad. Then, I got a flash of anger about the exclusion”. After the rally, the participants demonstrated in the crowded Shibuya district, appealing, “Don’t exclude Korean schools”. (M) – Image (UnionTube)Mkimpo’s Photo Gallery

 3月27日午後、朝鮮学校の「無償化」外しに反対する緊急行動が、東京・代々木公園イベント広場で開かれた。朝鮮高校生230人を中心に700人が集まった。主催は、平和・教育の市民グループ、労組などがつくった実行委員会で、急速に65団体までに広がった。「これは新たな民族差別。名前まで奪った戦前を繰り返していいのか。子どもを差別する国は滅びる」と主催者は強く鳩山政権を批判した。朝鮮高校の女子生徒は、「日本の方から続々と学校に支援署名が届き、胸を熱くした。高校無償化法案はすばらしい。でもなぜ朝鮮学校が外されたのか。これを聞いた時、自分の存在が否定された気持ちだった。悲しかった。そして怒りがこみ上げてきた」と語った。集会後、賑わう渋谷をデモ行進し(写真)「朝鮮学校を外すな」と訴えた。(M) ・動画 (UnionTube)ムキンポ写真館

Dockworkers on strike for 2 hours on asbestos issue

Zenkowan, or All Japan Dockworkers’ Union, which is a congress of dockworkers’ unions, confirmed to go on strike for two hours from the start of the office hours at ports in all around Japan on March 26, 2010. The union demanded that a system to compensate asbestos victims be established and workers’ rights lost by deregulation be restored. All asbestos that has been used in Japan was imported, and dockworkers handled materials made of 100% asbestos. The former Ministry of Labor failed to designate cargo handling as work in dusty environment due to a reason of being outdoor work, and to take measures to prevent dust. Due to the neglect, there have been 100 dockworkers who are entitled to workers’ accident compensation due to mesothelioma and/or lung cancer according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. This struggle is also for various organizations committed to the asbestos issue to build a system to compensate the victims. Your understanding and support are highly appreciated. (Ito Akinobu) * Photo: Union members in collective bargaining with the industry (Zenkowan webpage)

港湾労働組合の産別組織である全国港湾などは、3月26日に全国の港で始業時より2時間のストライキを実施することが確定しました。要求内容は、アスベスト被害者補償制度の確立と規制緩和によって失われた労働条件の回復です。日本で使用されたアスベストは、全量輸入されたものであり、港湾労働者がアスベスト100%の原料を荷役したものです。労働省は、港湾荷役作業は屋外作業であることから粉塵作業に指定せず、粉塵防止対策を怠ってきました。そのため、厚生労働省の発表でも港湾労働者の中皮腫、肺がんの労災認定者は100人に達しています。このたたかいは、アスベストに関係する諸団体が被災者のための補償制度つくることを求めるたたかいでもあります。多くの皆さんのご理解と支援をお願いします。(伊藤彰信)  *写真=業界と団交する組合側(全港湾HP

No base or war! 800 join World Peace Now rally

A “World Peace Now” rally was held in central Tokyo on March 20, 2010 while the Japanese Government was troubled by the issue to relocate the Futemma Air Base in Okinawa. Approximately 800 persons joined the rally on the sunny day and chanted, “No base or war! Foreign troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan”. Speeches were delivered by Shiba Rei, a journalist who was detained by the US Army during his coverage in Iraq in June 2003, and Okochi Hidehito, a member of the Campaign for Palestinian Children. Ashitomi Hiroshi, a member of the Council against Helicopter Base, referred to the recent hit-and-run accident caused by a US soldier in Okinawa, and criticized, “It may be natural for those involved in an act of war to run away without calling emergency from the accident site”. (Y) Photo flash

 沖縄の普天間基地移設問題で政府が迷走を続けるなか、「WORLD PEACE NOW」の集会 が都内で開かれた。晴天に恵まれた3月20日、港区・芝公園に約800人(主催者発表)が集まり、「基地も戦争もいらない! イラク、アフガンから 外国軍を撤退させよう」と声をあげた。03年6月のイラク取材で米軍に拘束されたジャーナリストの志葉玲さんや、大河内秀人さん(パレスチナ子どものキャンペーン)らが次々と発言した。安次富浩さん(ヘリ基地反対協)は、先の沖縄での米軍による「ひき逃げ事件」に触れ、「現場から救急隊に通報もせず立ち去るのは、戦争行為者にしてみれば当然の感覚かもしれない」と断罪した。(Y) 写真速報

Spring wage negotiations in 2010: Postal workers on strike demanding non-regular workers be full-timers!

On March 18, 2010, the Postal Workers’ Union (affiliated to Zenrokyo: National Trade Union Council) and Yusanro (Postal Industry Union, affiliated to Zenroren: National Confederation of Trade Unions) went on the first unified strike, demanding that non-regular workers be hired as full-timers and equally treated under the slogan, “Victory in Spring Offensive 2010!” Approximately 80 workers gathered at the Koishikawa Branch of Japan Post (photo), which became the base in Tokyo, and got through a rally in front of the branch despite surveillance of more than 15 managers. A female non-regular postal worker who recently joined the Postal Workers’ Union powerfully appealed, “It is impossible to survive only at 1,030 yen per hour. My work is the same as that of a full-timer, but there is a huge gap between us. As Postal Reform Minister Kamei said, I would also like to be a full-timer. I want to join the struggle in the union”. On this day, 61 workers at 14 workplaces were designated for strike by the Postal Workers’ Union. (M) Postal Workers’ Union webpage Image (UnionTube)

2010春闘 : 非正規の正社員化もとめ郵政労働者がストライキ!
 3月18日、郵政労働者ユニオン(全労協)と郵政産業労働組合(全労連)は、10春闘勝利!正社員化と均等待遇を求めて、初の同日統一ストライキを決行した。東京の拠点となった日本郵政小石川店(写真)には、早朝から約80名の労働者が集まり、15人をこえる職制の監視をはね返して、社前集会を成功させた。非正規のゆうメイト職員で、ユニオンに入ったばかりの女性は「いま時給1030円だがこれでは生活できない。社員と同じ仕事なのに格差がありすぎる。亀井大臣が発言したとおり、私も正社員になりたい。ユニオンでたたかっていきたい」と力強く挨拶した。この日郵政ユニオンでは、全国14職場・61人が指名ストに入った。(M) ・郵政ユニオンHP  ・動画